4. Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins
Aug 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Hughes…remember that guy? Used to pitch for the New York Yankees?
Yea, well, he plays for the Minnesota Twins and he’s actually pretty good now. Of course nobody is aware of this due to the Twins complete irrelevance in competitive baseball. Hughes completely reinvented himself, Matt Goldman of Beyond The Box Score explains:
"He (Hughes) reached 200 innings for the first time in his career, produced an fWAR of 6.1 (good for 4th among all pitchers), and even set the all-time single season record for best strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.63)."
His 16-10 record is quite impressive considering the Twins only won 70 games in 2014. Hughes accumulated 209.2 innings pitched, 186 strikeouts, and placed 7th in AL Cy Young voting. In this instance, a change of scenery really did make a difference and it would be expected that this success will continue with the addition of Ervin Santana in the Minnesota rotation. And with a big pay raise, Hughes should have an extra hop in his step this coming season.